From the Assembly Floor to Your Front Door

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Fresh off his commanding electoral victory in the March primary, where he garnered 84% of the vote, Assemblymember Isaac Bryan spoke to a packed auditorium at New Earth’s headquarters in West Los Angeles for a town hall and a legislative update on Monday night, March 25. 

By a show of hands, attendees identified themselves as being from all corners of the 55th district. Culver City Democratic Club members were well represented, including Culver City Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin, Culver City Council member Freddy Puza, Culver City Unified School District Trustee Paula Amezola, former Culver City Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells, Culver City Democratic Club President Jeff Schwartz, Culver City City Council candidate Bubba Fish, CADEM Eboard member and LA Democratic Central Committee member Leah Pressman, current CADEM delegate and LA Central Committee member-elect Pam Sparrow, Democratic Central Committee member Vilma Dawson, LA Democratic Central Committee member Sara Roos, CADEM Delegate Greg Bartlett, as well as Melanie Barlett, Michelle Weiner, Disa Lindgren, and Linda Childs. 

Dr. Harry Grammer, Founder of New Earth, interviewed the assembly member. Bryan is keenly aware that term limits leave him only so much time to accomplish the things he wants to accomplish for his community which is why he chose to take on the work of introducing 20 bills this year.

Importantly to climate justice activists, children, and other living things, ASM Bryan chairs the State Committee on Natural Resources. Bryan said he does not have a singular focus on one set of issues, but, as Chair of Natural Resources this year, he will be particularly active in supporting and authoring climate resilience and environmental justice legislation. 

Bryan also represents the 55th Assembly district on the Appropriations, Governmental Organization, Judiciary, and the Privacy and Consumer Protections Committees. Bryan briefly explained the scope of each of the other committees where he will have a vote and a voice. For instance, every piece of legislation that has a dollar amount attached to it goes through the Appropriations Committee and the committee on Privacy and Consumer Protections reviews any bills relevant to regulation of artificial intelligence.

In the last two years, the Culver City Democratic Club has supported many of the bills Bryan chose to lift up at the town hall. In 2022, the Club supported SB 1137 to establish 3200 foot oil drilling setbacks. In 2023, the club supported AB 421 to reform the referendum process so that it would be harder for deep-pocketed interests to pay for signatures and deceive voters in order to repeal laws they oppose. AB 421 was written in response to oil companies moving to repeal oil drilling setbacks by hiring signatures gatherers to lie to voters in order to place the rollback of SB 1137 on the November ballot. Also in 2023, the Club voted to support the Campaign For a Safe and Healthy California which is organizing the fight to keep the oil setback law .

Three other bills discussed at the town hall already have Club endorsement:
• AB 1810—which ensures that menstrual products are readily accessible in prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities across California, not just upon request

• AB 1986—which requires the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to make public and readily accessible to all the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Centralized List of Disapproved Publications, adding transparency to a book banning process which is currently done in the dark. This bill is part of the 2024 reparations package.

• ACA 16—which would amend the state constitution to affirm that it is a right– not a privilege–to have access to clean air, water, and a healthy environment for every Californian

Other impactful bills Bryan was excited to share with his constituents included AB 2187 to create an office of renters rights and protections, not to enforce laws, but to make sure that tenants and landlords have accurate information about their rights, protections and obligations and AB 2716, a bill that would impose heavy fines on oil companies who keep unproductive or “stripper” wells active. AB 2716 is intended to deter the oil companies from avoiding the expense of shutting down and cleaning up a well by simply keeping the well going even if it barely produces any oil. AB 2684, another important climate resilience act Bryan is shepherding this year, would require cities to create a plan for extreme heat as they do for other disasters such as earthquakes explaining that, without such plans cities are not eligible for federal dollars to help them with preparing for a disaster or for FEMA dollars after a disaster. 

In addition to his legislation, Bryan explained the state budget process as California finds itself in its first budget deficit in a decade and discussed some of the ideas he had for budget cuts – including closing five empty state prisons. 

While the crowd was overwhelmingly enthusiastic and supportive during Bryan’s remarks, at the question and answer period, the Assemblymember fielded pointed questions about support for small businesses in Culver City, immigration, utility fees & net metering, the failure to close Diablo Canyon and the negative consequences of passing Prop 1. Bryan was serious and thoughtful about engaging with audience questions, including a few that were fairly hostile. 

At the end of the evening, constituents who attended were given a comprehensive and in depth look at what their Assemblymember was engaged in in Sacramento on their behalf. As Dr. Grammar stated in his introduction, ASM Bryan truly takes it from the Assembly Floor to your front door. 

Assemblymember Bryan was endorsed for re-election by the Culver City Democratic Club. You can contact Isaac Bryan’s office by phone at (916) 319-2055 (Capitol) or (310) 641-5410 (District). Email comments can be made here.